Did the 'leaker' outsmart himself this time?
Yes, leaks are part of Washington, or so we hear. However, leaking the transcripts of a presidential conversation with a foreign leader is a step too far. This is a leak that the leaker and the media will regret for a long time.
We learned on Friday that Attorney General Sessions is ready to bring down the hammer on the insiders who are leaking, as reported by the New York Times:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Friday that the Justice Department was now pursuing three times as many leak investigations as the previous administration, a significant devotion of law enforcement resources to hunt down the sources of unauthorized disclosures of information that have plagued the Trump administration.
Mr. Sessions vowed that the Justice Department would not hesitate to bring criminal charges against people who had leaked classified information. He also announced that the F.B.I. had created a new counterintelligence unit to manage these cases.
"I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks," he said. The announcement by Mr. Sessions comes 10 days after President Trump publicly accused him of being "very" weak on pursuing these investigations in a post on Twitter.
The Sessions news conference came against the backdrop of repeated pressure by Mr. Trump, in public and in private, for the Justice Department and the F.B.I. to hunt down people inside the government who have been telling reporters what was happening behind closed doors.
Get serious, A.G. Sessions, and go forward!
We need to send a message to those planning to leak:
First, leaking is illegal, and we will lock you up.
Second, and more important, it's time for people traumatized by the 2016 election to get over it.
Leaking a presidential conversation has consequences beyond Trump. It created problems for the other head of state, as a Mexican friend told me on the phone today. Some people in Mexico are angry that President Enrique Peña-Nieto did not cancel the call when paying for the wall came up. Of course, the Mexican president didn't know that the world would be reading all of this later. President Peña-Nieto was trying to establish a positive dialogue with President Trump and did not believe that a shouting match would serve their mutual needs.
This is no way to conduct diplomacy. Lock up the leakers. They are now hurting the U.S. not just President Trump.
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